Senate Legislation Jan. 25-31

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As of Friday, January 31st, 2020, 683 bills have been introduced to the Senate. Of those bills, 47 have passed to the House for further consideration.

SB 8 exempts honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces from fees for carrying firearms. This exception already applies to retired law enforcement officers.

SB 51 specifies forms of grandparent visitation rights. This bill would clarify the measurements taken to ensure the rights of grandparents, as well as the rights of parents in the supervision of children. These visits include daytime and overnight visits.

SB 114 would provide continued eligibility for developmental disability services to people who are dependent on members of the armed forces. This eligibility would be extended to spouses, children, stepchildren, and adopted children.

SB 175 requires certain agencies of the executive branch to maintain a website that provides specific information such as office contact information. This bill would also authorize county commissions and municipalities to maintain informative websites that are free to the public and would require them to provide certain information and updates to the Office of Technology and the Secretary of State.

SB 191 clarified the conditions for aggravated animal cruelty and specifies penalties. It would make aggravated cruelty to animals a felony offense.

SB 201 clarifies essential elements of harassment and how they are defined in current law.

SB 209 would amend a section of state code allowing for allowing annexation through minor boundary adjustment.

SB 241 would require the state Board of Education to create a plan for the funding of school transportation costs separately from the present total state basic foundation program. The bill also requires a plan for better consideration of transportation costs in low-populated counties.

SB 261 creates criminal penalties for introducing ransomware to computers with the intent to extort money, property, or other services under fraudulent pretenses. The bill establishes the elements of this offense and the penalties for it.

SB 289 creates the Green Alert Plan. This plan is similar to the Amber Alert and Silver Alert plans, focusing specifically on missing military veterans and missing active members of the armed forces having conditions that put them at risk. The purpose of the bill is to reduce the suicide rates.

SB 303 creates the Students’ Right to Know Act. The purpose of this bill is to require the Board of Education to provide high school students with specific information regarding costs of colleges and universities and career paths to better prepare them for the workforce.

SB 323 is a rules bill relating to the Public Defender Services, returned to the Senate from the House after the addition of technical amendments.

SB 339 is a Rules bundle for the Department of Health and Human Resources.

SB 357 is a rules bundle for the Department of Revenue.

SB 364 promulgates rules for the Department of Transport.

SB 468 clarifies false statements as unlawful in the application of any license or permit, and creates an eligibility statement requirement.

SB 470 permits the usage of crossbows with bolts and arrows 16 inches or larger for hunting.

SB 487 exempts certain division sections of the Department of Natural Resources from the requirement to deposit checks under $500 within 24 hours.

SB 500 clarifies the requirements for a class Y permit and removes the requirement for medical record release for an application.

SB 501 adds the Elk River Trail’s protection and maintenance to the Parks and Recreation section of the Division of Natural Resources.

SB 509 provides venue for custody allocations for families not separated through divorce. This would primarily apply to parents who were never married.

SB 523 extends the time in which a municipality may grant Social Security benefits to members of the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System.

SB 529 amends two sections of code and establish limitations for claims benefits. The first sets a two-year limitation for a claim to be filed for unjust arrest or imprisonment after the claimant has been dismissed. The bill also amends the Crime Victims Compensation Act, which establishes a 10-year limitation for the receiving of compensation benefits from a claimant.

SB 532 provides for the distribution for the valuables in a municipal firemen’s or policemen’s pension and relief fund when the last retiree receiving benefits under the fund dies.

HB 4130 provides that contracts for construction projects created from declared states of emergency may be bid on an open-ended basis, and can use a multiple contract award approach. Contracts for emergency construction aren’t required to specify the location of the work at the time of the contract award, but have to do so before the work begins. The bill also specifies conditions for prohibiting such contract awards and identifies other requirements.

HB 2696 would establish a naming convention to record state-owned lands in an index system that provides easy cross-reference to county indexes. The Senate completed action on this bill and it awaits the signature of the governor.